Oil fields of Syria
The passions that took place in face-to-face battlefields in connection with the defeat of the American-Kurds by a detachment of government troops in the area of the al-Isba refinery (the left bank of the Euphrates in Syria, between the cities of Hsham and at-Tabiya), cause genuine disgust. "Sofa experts" are confidently playing on the rise, bringing the number of Russian citizens who died there from "several" ("several", so in a CNN report) to several hundred (over six hundred at the time of writing these lines). The level of argumentation - a video sequence from a computer game, a photomontage from the Martian landscape and a broken Ukrainian column near Zelenograd, an anonymous audiorium, etc. - does not inspire confidence either, although today's fighters of the information front do not get used to such information. But even the nominal knowledge of the initial boundary, the boundary of the deployment, the boundary of the attack and the line of hurrying, too, do not allow to relate reliably to the stories about the attacking column, open (!) Standing (!!) in three hundred meters (!!!) meters from the line of defense of the probable enemy.
But all this causes a stable sense of agitation on the eve of the Russian presidential elections.
If without emotion
Therefore, let us honor the dead, proceed from the "basic fact." From the information released by CNN: "The US responded with airstrikes that killed about 100 of the attackers, according to the coalition, with the rest retreating" (the United States responded by air strikes that killed about a hundred attackers, according to the information of the coalition, the others retreated).
This is a fact, and this fact is enough to respect the American obstinacy in achieving this goal. From the very beginning of its direct participation in the Syrian conflict, Russia directly and stubbornly declares the need to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria. The Yankees openly do not mind. But back in April 2016, they quite directly proposed that the Russians divide Syria by some "absolute line", and then - "You do not go there, we do not go in here, and everything in the middle is an honest game" (John Kerry, at a meeting with the editorial board of The New York Times, 22 April 2016 year).
The Americans achieved their goal ... It took almost two years, and such a line was formed - according to the Euphrates. And the US, which has put on the Kurds, was not mistaken. "Syrian democratic forces" (and this is primarily Kurdish forces of people's self-defense) took control of almost the entire left bank of the Euphrates, with the exception of the two areas still under the rule of IGIL.
On the right bank the situation is more complicated. Most of the territory is controlled by Bashar Assad, but Kurds (in Afrina and Manbije), Turks (in the north of the province of Aleppo), al-Qaeda (in Idlib), southward - "moderate opposition" (in At-Tanf, Suwayda and East Guta). And even the seemingly broken IGIL perked up and controlled two districts, in Idlib and in the Syrian desert.
But still, the front was established. And the "massacre under al-Isba" Americans and their proxy Kurds openly showed that for Bashar and his allies "there is no land on the left bank". Therefore, I recommend in the near future to look closely at the Kamyshli region, because the airport in this Kurdish city is still controlled by the government army of Assad.
The Russian-Syrians will not be able to return the left bank of the Euphrates by military means. First, they still have enough work in Idlib and Gut. And the fact that "in the second place", the American Kurds showed it quite clearly. In their hands is located Rakka and surroundings. And in the vicinity - the Tabka dam, which "closes" the reservoir of al-Assad with its twelve cubometers of water. 6 January of this year the floodgates of the dam were opened, and the stream of water jokingly destroyed the floating automotive bridge, installed by Russians under Deir ez Zor in September of 2017. And to force the Euphrates at the sight of the American Air Force is suicide for any army.
So the "incident of al-Isba" can already be regarded as an ordinary border clash. And there will be many more, because oil is at stake. Below Dair-ez-Zor is the largest oil cluster of Syria - Mejadin-Abu-Kemal. These are 18 fields, including the largest in the country deposits of El Omar and At-Tenek. Eleven of them are on the east bank of the Euphrates, and that is why government forces sought to gain a foothold in the assault of Deir ez Zor: in order to be contenders for the largest Syrian "oil pie"
All local news agencies call the detachment, defeated by al-Isba, not the "Syrian army", but only "pro-government troops." There was a detachment of those who are traditionally called "private traders" - mercenaries (including Russians from the private military company "Wagner"), "hunters" (volunteers from the group "Hunters for IGIL") and "tribal" (tribal warriors militias). It was a raid to seize the oil refinery, and now in those parts such events are not uncommon. I asked my friend who spends a lot of time in Syria: "Do the Wagnerites" engage in the spinning of refineries? " In response: "Spinning oil industry? Wagnerites - yes, the officers (they call the regular Russian soldiers - AG), they have budgetary financing. Private owners work in an autonomous mode and they even have strained relations with the officials. "
Then much becomes clear. If the plant tried to squeeze out not the personnel units, but the auxilary (auxiliary troops), then the hard and brutal rout of the raid is both a border skirmish, and an unambiguous signal from the American Kurds that for Asad for the Euphrates there is not only land, but also , especially, oil.
The Syrian response to such a signal could be observed the next day. As is known, since January 11, Turkey is conducting a military operation to expel the Kurds from the canton-enclave Afrin, which is in the north-west of Syria. The operation is carried out with the absolute dominance of Turkish aviation, since the Kurds do not even have intelligent portable anti-aircraft missile systems. The air raids already by the beginning of February forced the Kurdish leaders to speak about the genocide in Africa. But 20 February air strikes practically ceased. Obviously, under the influence of Russia, which, although "delivered" to Ankara - the worst enemy of the Kurds, but always tried to retain some influence on them. By the way - until recently, not unsuccessfully.
However, already on 9 February Turkish bombing of Afrina resumed with new force. The willing can see in this coincidence, thinking - "a blow of retribution." In addition, from the Arab, Syrian and Kurdish sources, the recent reports of the advancement of Kurdish forces from Rozhava and Manbijah to help fellow tribesmen in Africa have practically disappeared. This could only be done through the territory controlled by the troops of Assad. And if the Syrians will block this transit, the Africans will find themselves without any support at all: "They will take it out to the full!" - as the Kurdish interlocutor told me.
And it's a pity ... Just recently it seemed that Syria has a chance to survive, albeit in a federated format, but in the current range. Assad, at the end of last year, announced the readiness of the Syrian government for changes, including amendments to the Constitution and new parliamentary elections. Most of the parties in Syrian Kurdistan also supported federalization. And the Turkish attack on Afrin could even unite the Syrians and Kurds, whose common historical memory retained memories of the five-century and not-so-joyful Ottoman domination.
But it did not work out ... Now it is much more logical to assume not only the finishing of Kurds in Africa and the Syrians at Kamyshly airport, but also the beginning of active Kurdish-Syrian battles along the Euphrates. After all, under Raccoon, the Kurds control a piece of the western (right) shore, in an irritating proximity to the Syrian oil cluster of Resaf.
By Dair-ez-Zor, on the contrary, the Basharists occupy a piece of the left bank, near the eleven deposits of the Meyadin-Abu-Kemal cluster, which the Kurds consider their own. Therefore, it is not surprising that on 10 February Liveuamap reported that the "Democratic forces of Syria" expelled pro-government troops from At-Tabia. That is, the Kurds are trying to clear the bridgehead of the Syrian troops on the left bank of the Euphrates.
Now the Basharovo army and "pro-government forces" are feverishly moving troops to the area of the incident. The Kurds on the left bank of the Euphrates do the same. The mood there is very gloomy. Concerning the events under the al-Isba plant in the Arabic segment of the Internet, the phrase نعم وهناك شهداء كثيرون (Yes, many martyrs) is regularly found. And this is the East, gentlemen! Here the martyrs are not praying, they are avenging them here.
So I would like to be a bad oracle, but to date, the most likely are two predictions:
1. Farewell, the possibility of a "united Syria".
2. Hello, the first Kurdish-Syrian war!
God, how you want to be mistaken.